The View Up Here

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A New Slope Site

Posted by Tom Benedict on 12/02/2014

I admit it, I’m chicken when it comes to throwing my gliders out over a cliff, especially if I can’t find a way to get to the bottom of the cliff to recover my plane after pulling a boneheaded maneuver. This has kept me from finding really stellar slope sites on the Big Island. So far the two I’ve flown the most are the pu`u at Kua Bay and a grassy slope out at the edge of an old quarry. Kua Bay is nice because there’s no fence hopping involved. But the landing zone is all rock, and it’s over a half hour drive to get there. The quarry is great because the slope is all grass, but you have to hop a fence to get there, so it’s just a matter of time before we get chased off. Clearly I need a new place to fly.

While going through some of my earlier photography to find stuff I might put up on, I ran across a set I did at Kauhola Point at the north end of the Big Island. It’s the set this one came from:

Lighthouse from Up HighThe cliffs are heavily eroded right by the lighthouse, which makes them scary as far as climbing goes. But as I went through the other photos from the set, I ran across some showing the cliffs just to the east. Solid rock! And on one of them there was a path that led down to a rocky surfing beach. Perfect! And as it turns out I flew over a nearby farm that had a great view of the cliffs from a kite. Different day, drier season, but you can see how nice these cliffs would be for sloping. (The leaning trees give you a pretty good idea of the average wind direction here…)

Kauhola Point

The fine folks at Mauna Kea Soaring appear to have their wind models running again, so I was even able to check the conditions at Kauhola Point. (The guy who runs the wind models is a fellow slope soarer and a fellow Zagi 5C owner. He also happens to be the Director of Engineering at the place where I work. Small world!) The winds look good! If they hold through the weekend, I’m getting out with a couple of planes to go play.

I promised people at RCGroups that I’d take stills and video the next time I got out. Seems like Kauhola Point would be a great place to do this. So I’ll pack cameras, too. Report to come!

– Tom

P.S. WHAT A DWEEB! After posting this I madly rushed off to RCGroups to write a post for a thread on Big Island sloping sites. RIGHT THERE was a post I made back in October last year in which I posted this same picture. GAAAH! I already knew about this place! And I forgot! I have no one to blame but myself. >sigh<

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